March 31 thru April 5
As always, Kristofer is finding new ways to help us out. He didn't make it too far with the backpack, still got to work on endurance. Here he is watching his dad make a cable to allow for computer logging of EAS events.

Kristofer found his collection of shoes this week and tried most of them on, not necessarily in pairs.

With the warmer temperatures we've been ejoying the sun. Kristofer is insisting on walking to and from work to soak up more of the sun.

While the area immediately around our home still looks interesting with patches of ash showing through white snow, the road to the highway is starting to show the ugly face of breakup. It is one thing in the afternoon when these ruts are all slushy but in the morning when they are rock hard the deep ruts pose some challenges.

April 6 thru April 12
As winter comes to a close it is nice to see how wood heat has helped us through the winter. We were able to reduce this winter's oil consumption to just slightly less that 500 gallons of heating oil. This is a big savings over previous years, we look forward to seeing further savings with the use of the new stove in our basement next winter.

The long delayed task of cleaning out this mission refridgerators is best done in winter when the odor would be contained by the cold so this is the time to delay no longer.

While already in the cleaning mode we got the mission vehicles and our motorcycles cleaned up and removed the ash deposited by Mt Redoubt.

The snow isn't all the fun it was earlier but with outdoor temps up to 60 it was just right for Kristofer and Lilly to get out and play in.

Sunday afternoon is often spent shopping in town where Kristofer gets to try everything on for size.

April 13 thru April 19
Well spring breakup is almost over here in the Mat-Su Valley. Even though our steps may not be on stable ground just yet, the transmitter site appears to be past the critical opportunity for flooding with a good stream of water running across the road out to the base of the tower.

As we wrap things up here, we've taken plenty of trips into town for errands. Kristofer always enjoys going along for the ride and exploring other parts of the world. Is this barber pole calling his name?

Before leaving we needed to get the mission truck's studded tires swapped out and get our motorcycles inside. It sure is nice to have more of the building supplies used up allowing enough room for all this stuff to fit inside our shop.

Well we are off to Bethel to keep things going at KAGV and KYKD from out there in Bethel. I'm guessing that by the time Kristofer is able to carry the bag containing his crib, we won't need to haul it around with us anymore.

The Bailey's have been faithfully serving at KYKD since last September. We are very grateful for their service and involvement here. May the Lord bless their path as they go to share time with family and seek God's will in their lives.

Breakup hasn't really started in earnest in Bethel yet. Here are the small craft boat docks, still stacked up in a neat pile waiting for the return of water. Some boats didn't make it to dock in time last fall, looks like some extra work is in order before these craft become useful again.

Well finally the barber pole has caught up with Karl and Kristofer. The KYKD apartments have all the conveniences, thanks to the families that have gone before us.

April 20 thru April 26
We are definitely re-living breakup all over again since we left our house and came out here to Bethel. Here's a before and after shot of the KYKD parking lot with the steam truck across the street getting the culvert thawed out and draining again.

Some people seem to be getting all the food they can these days. Those with a reason are from villages near Bethel and they need to take food home while the ice on the river still makes the trip efficient.

Karl is starting to look at some of the remote monitoring equipment. It does look like this directional coupler can provide a decent stable reading even if the resolution is low.

April 27 thru May 3
We'll start this week's updated with some of Kristofer's explorations. In daddy's footsteps Kristofer tries out some shoes he's not ready to fill and tries to figure out exactly where the headphones are supposed to go.

With spring breakup in full swing the road crews are hard at work to reduce vehicle damage. Kristofer pauses to contemplate the futility of maintaining roads in such a dynamic environment, he pauses just a little too long, requiring shoe recovery.

All that trekking to get to the playground that is thawing across the street. Whoa, going down the slides all by myself is definitely worth it!

With the end of the work week comes new friends to take us back to the airport on our way back to the road system for board meetings.

Shopping in town when you live in Bethel often ends right here at the Anchorage Post Office to send your shopping home. Right after a full day of shopping we are headed north to Nenana where Michaela sweeps Kristofer off his feet.

May 4 thru May 10
This week started out in Nenana at board meetings. The Blair's have been serving with VFCM for more than 5 years. At this board meeting they were recognized for their service and we also believe some good decisions were made to help the organization move into a new era.

After board meetings we headed back to our house and packed up supplies for our term out in Bethel. Whatever daddy is doing Kristofer wants to try too.

Friday we were back to the airport to get into the 737 freight combi that took us back to Bethel.

In Bethel the river isn't quite out yet. The ice jam filled water is rising, threatening to flood.

Kristofer's grammy sent him a package to keep him in clothes and Kristofer enjoys digging through the box. The boardwalks are almost clear so we ventured to walk to church this week.

May 11 thru May 17
Since we expect to be serving out here in Bethel through the summer we've decided to try our hand at gardening here. We've set up pots and various containers in the kitchen at the studio and we've started quite a few seeds.

Outside the prep is a little more difficult. The substance underneath us here in Bethel isn't exactly dirt. It seems that we've got frozen sand on the top and after we let the ground thaw a little we were able to shave down into something resembling peat moss. We are hoping to keep a thaw-shave cycle going to harvest plenty of this peat stuff and thaw out enough depth to allow roots to go down.

In last week's update we mentioned the rising waters in the Kuskokwim river due to ice jam dams. Well the water continued to rise early this week. Forcing folks in nearby villages to evacuate to Bethel as well as forcing some folks out of their homes in the Bethel neighborhood of Brown's Slough. Tuesday night we hosted some friends from that neighborhood. We enjoyed their visit and Kristofer loved playing with Savanah, Lauren and Collin.

Yeah, mail day!! The rest of our supplies are here.

Quickly unpacking Kristofer's tractor, Kristofer was soon noticing something wasn't quite right. After a quick ride without an engine or a steering wheel, Kristofer finally gave daddy a chance to put everything back in its place.

Well with spring comes many opportunities to get out and explore the new world.

Sometimes we explore the big outdoors, sometime the small indoors. All that exploring, I don't have any energy left to eat.

May 18 thru May 24
This week started on a rather bizarre note. Early Monday morning the radio went silent when Back to the Bible should have come on, quickly heading over to the station to figure out what was wrong, SURPRISE!! It is snowing in the middle of May! The snow had covered the receiving element in the satellite dish that gets our programming from our sister station KIAM in Nenana, Alaska.

In spite of the weather, we remain optimistic about our gardening possibilities. We are starting quite a few different veggies inside. Here we are dropping bean and corn seeds that we got started in a plate of water.

It is fun to see so much progress this week. From dropping our freshly sprouted seeds into the soil to seeing them shoot up in only a few days.

Outside, the prep work continues. With the peat, thawed and shaved down more than a foot it was time to start filling the hole back in and breaking up the blocks of peat.

At the station Karl worked on making some improvements. Here he is installing a relay controlled by a thermostat that automatically determines whether the waste heat from the KYKD transmitter goes to heat the studios or is sent outside to cool down the building. The effort to isolate the RF noise out of our recording studio wasn't so successful.

Here Karl and Kristofer work to level out the storage portion of the apartment driveway. Feeling too puny to move large beams to build a retaining wall we are trying an experiment with some road fabric.

The concept is to build logs out of dirt and fabric. Anchoring the fabric into the driveway. Hopefully the logs won't slide or sag and the fabric won't deteriorate.

Anyway, for now things are leveling out nicely.

Our laptop has suffered again from the same defect that brought it down a year ago. This time we chose to buy a new one instead of replacing the motherboard again. With much anticipation here we are unpacking the new laptop. As you may notice we move around a bit and having a reliable laptop is essential to keep things organized and to keep you updated on our work.

Kristofer has taken to drinking tea, not quite in authentic British style, he prefers herbal teas with lots of cream. Another of his culinary delights this week was his first taste of strawberries and shortcake.

Ending the week with weather in stark contrast to the snowy begining, Sunday was a great sunny day to visit the park.

May 25 thru May 31
This week Karl and Kristofer screened a whole bunch of new music to go into the music systems at both KAGV and KYKD. Kristan did the hard work of figuring out all the album information to enter into our computer system along with the music. Together we now have 43 news songs this week.

On the gardening front, things are still too cold outside so we are transplanting into larger containers inside.

Kristofer enjoys the trips to the post office where we get our mail. Also this is where we mailed out our latest newsletter for our non-online friends.

With the cold temperatures it is sometimes difficult to understand that summer is on its way. With summer coming we are starting to prep the boat in hopes of helping another ministry here in Bethel. Kristofer was immediately drawn to the steering wheel but found some time to help his mom and dad put the repaired cabin cover on. Thankyou to the folks who repaired this cover!

This week we got a package for Kristofer from his grandma that without any coordination had a shirt that was an exact match to the one collared shirt Karl brought to Bethel. Sunday afternoon we had fun performing Kristofer tricks for his grandparents over the Skype webcam.

June 1 thru June 7
There were only a few good weather days this week but we got out to enjoy them. Kristofer got to try out the swings at the playground.

The trick to swinging by yourself is hanging on and fighting the urge to fall asleep. Having dad right up in my face at every up-swing helps with the falling asleep thing. Dad got these glasses to keep the blowing sand out of his eyes, I had to check them out.

Back in Washington we used to go to American Lake after church and watch all the families launching their boats. Here at the Bethel boat harbor there are a lot more boats being launched on a nice sunny Sunday afternoon.

With all the snow melted, it is spring cleanup time. Kristan (and Kristofer at times) picked up the area around the radio station. The wind had blown hundreds of little plastic shopping bags into the ditches alongside the road.

In addition to shopping bags there were some more interesting finds in the bushes. Saturday was rainy and windy and our quick shopping trip completely coated the KYKD vehicle with mud.

Our sunny Sunday was a good time to clean up the blazer. With some help from Kristofer things are looking better.

June 8 thru June 14
This week started out quite normal, lampshades on the head and such, but the week turned out to be quite eventful. With so much happening this week the update is longer than usual. Stick it out it is worth it. Tuesday night the US Coast Guard ship Hickory came to town.

Wednesday the ship was open for tours. What a fun adventure checking out how these folks live and work so far from home.

The bridge was impressive from below and had an impressive view from inside.

The Coast Guard ship was docked at the city docks where the barges have started arriving for the year.

The shipping activity is again a reminder of how Bethel is a hub of many sorts not just air freight. Unusual loads can be seen both at the city docks and the small boat harbor where folks are taking supplies out into the bush.

On Friday we went to the airport to get Meemaw. She was able to get a flight out to Bethel for the weekend while on a business trip.

Meemaw, YOU ARE HERE! What a celebration, Lawrence Welk style, with plenty of bubbles.

Many a Kodak moment was captured. Live entertainment kept the evening going late into the night.

On Saturday it was off to the small boat harbor and out on the boat.

Plenty of unique Bethel sights to explore from the water. Here the hovercraft passes us as they deliver the mail to the surrounding villages.

We enjoyed a picnic lunch floating down the Kusko.

Meemaw enjoyed piloting us past many fish camps, as the river is alive with folks getting their year's supply of food.

Kristofer enjoyed some time at the helm as well.

Closer to town we found a nice beach to explore together.

Back on land we went to the internet to check up on how Papa was doing in Meemaw's absence and then a trip to the store to complete Meemaw's 48 hour tour of Bethel.

Then back to the airport to see Meemaw off. It was great to have you here even when the time was so short.

June 15 thru June 21
Monday morning Karl had to take a trip back to our house to host an inspection of the radio station there.

Being apart left Kristofer a little confused about cutting his own hair but it was worth it to get KAGV certified for another 3 years.

While at KAGV it was discovered that the mission vehicle there had faulty brakes. Rectifying this issue took up a lot of time that could have been used for other efforts but there was a lot of learning involved and that never hurts.

The shoes on one drum had completely deteriorated from fluid leaked through a seal ruined by a corrosion in the cyclinder. With a new cyclinder, a new brake line and some new shoes the truck is put back together and good enough for hauling fuel for now.

Next was packing groceries to go in the luggage for the return to Bethel. While this may seem odd, coolers such as these are a far more common sight on the baggage carousel in Bethel than actual suitcases, with milk at $9.49 a gallon and salmon virtually free, the refrigerated transport is something to take advantage of.

You may have noticed that we have been travelling quite a bit lately. One of our unsung heros is this sweet lady. Pompi is our ride to and from the airport. Her servanthood is a blessing to us. With Pompi's help Karl is off on a jet plane again. This time his dad was able to join him at the Anchorage airport and they arrived in Bethel together.

While Kristofer knew his daddy was bringing him some new glasses (AKA "d'eyes", short for daddy's eyes) from some show and tell time over the internet, getting to put the glasses on was a lot more fun that the video conference.

Being the ever diligent farmer that he is, Grampy got us going on our gardening project. With the high winds here we needed to come up with something to protect the young plants from the wind.

All together we made short order of the work. Now to see which plants will survive the move to the harsh outdoors.

Here Grampy is teaching Kristofer to make one of Grampy's renown "Medicinal Salads". Then the two of them catch up with Grammy over the internet.

Karl caught something on his trip that has him under the weather but the rest of the family got a workout on the swings while enjoying the park

On Sunday we celebrated Father's day. Kristofer had gifts for his Daddy and his Grampy. Then we capped off the day with a good sized serving of strawberry shortcake.

June 22 thru June 28
With Grampy here, Kristofer gets a lot more time to play. Building forts with Grampy and going to the "swings" are some of his favorites.

Plenty of working together with Grampy too. Planting some seeds for brocolli and cabbage and scraping old paint off the porch at the radio station.

Wouldn't want to leave out the eating together. With Grammy coming at the end of the week we worked together to get the boat ready for another trip.

Friday is the big day! There has been much anticipation about how Grammy will be whooshing out of the East in a jet to come to our apartment just like Meemaw, Daddy and Grampy. The time is now and we are off to the airport to spot Grammy whooshing!

Patiently we wait while Grammy taxis to the terminal and lets the other passengers go meet their families. And then we get to see her, Grammy is here!

It's been a while since Grammy has been in 3-D, but Kristofer soon discovers he likes her better this way.

Saturday morning we all get ready and then we get out on the river. Plenty to see and explore.

Kristofer tried his hand at fishing. The bugs were out in force, Grammy brought some protection for Kristofer, definitely more effective than just swatting at them.

We stopped in the village of Kwethluk for a self-guided foot tour. It was fun to be able to take our parents to a remote village and show them first hand the sort of place VFCM is able to bring the Gospel to with our remote translator/repeater sites.

Kristofer also took the helm for a bit just to keep his skills sharp. After all the tough sailor work, Kristofer had to hit the berth for a nap.

Sunday we all enjoyed a walk to church. In the evening we celebrated Daddy's birthday and Kristofer helped open presents.